News Column

Caretaker Stole Debit Cards from Elderly Couple, Investigators Say

May 8, 2014

By Alison Gene Smith, The Times-News, Twin Falls, Idaho

May 08--TWIN FALLS -- A Twin Falls woman stole more than $1,300 from an elderly couple shortly before they both died, prosecutors say.

Laura Dennice Johnson, 47, was arraigned Tuesday on felony charges of grand theft and criminal possession of a financial transaction card.

She's being held on $1,000 bail at the Twin Falls County Jail, and a preliminary hearing is set May 16.

A report by sheriff's deputies gave this account:

On Feb. 13, a woman reported suspicious withdrawals from her now deceased parents' bank account. The parents, who lived at Stoney Creek Living Center, died in January at ages 91 and 89.

When she examined bank statements, the woman said, she noticed several cash withdrawals at ATMs, balance inquiries and an online purchase. The woman went to her parents' bank, and employees tracked down Johnson's name from the online purchase.

According to Stoney Creek Living Center, Johnson worked at the facility only from Dec. 27, 2013, to Jan. 22, about the time of the strange bank account activity.

An investigator interviewed Johnson Feb. 26 at the sheriff's office. Johnson said she had been fired by Stoney Creek after being accused of problems with medicine counts. Johnson said she was innocent of those accusations.

Johnson admitted that she stole debit cards along with PIN numbers from a handbag while she was on shift. Investigators say Johnson withdrew funds on six occasions at the Twin Falls Walmart and made 15 balance inquiries at various gas station ATMs. She also purchased $20 in goods from an adult website.

A warrant for Johnson's arrest was issued May 1.


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Source: Times-News (Twin Falls, ID)

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